Eleocharis acicularis (Needle Spikerush)
Needle Spikerush, Dwarf Hairgrass, Needle-Spike Rush, Hair Grass
Eleocharis acicularis (Needle Spikerush) is an aquatic or marginal, annual or perennial boasting very thin, grass-like stems arising from a creeping rhizome. In shallow water it will form short spikes of tiny flowers amongst flat overlapping leafs. The tiny flowers are borne at the tip of each stem in single, sharply pointed, tiny spikelets. Submersed plants tend to be strictly vegetative, lacking spikes, and the stems can grow significantly longer than terrestrial plants, depending on the water depth. Native to Europe, central and southeastern Asia, North America and northeastern South America, Needle Spikerush is a plant of marshes, vernal pools, and bogs, and it is also a popular aquarium plant. Growing from rapidly spreading rhizomatous roots, it can form dense mats considered good habitat for fish to lay their eggs. Usually, it is grown as an oxygenating plant from the bottom of ponds or water features. The submerged leaves give off bubbles of oxygen, improving the water quality and maintaining the eco-balance of the pond. It can also absorb mineral salts from the water and reduce algae growth. Needle Spikerush is also ideal for natural ponds to help prevent soil erosion.
- Grows up to 4 in. tall (10 cm) and 5-6 in. wide (12-15 cm). This plant will spread by creeping rhizomes to form a colony if not restrained.
- Performs best in full sun in acidic to slightly alkaline, wet soils. Can also be planted in standing water to 12 in. deep (30 cm).
- This plant can be grown near ponds and streams, in bog gardens, or as a ground cover. It is suitable for small, medium and large ponds and can be grown as a fully submerged aquatic plant in outdoor ponds or in aquariums.
- Requires little care, is virtually disease-free and pest-free. Keep an eye out for species of leaf beetles and leafhoppers in the wild.
- Cut any wandering stems in the spring to control plant growth.
- Propagate by seed or cuttings.
- Native to Europe, central and southeastern Asia, North America and northeastern South America.
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.